Barry Sheppard

The divisions in the Republican Party over Donald Trump's candidacy in Republican primaries have been the subject of much commentary — and it remains to be seen how this will play out. We may not know until the Republican convention.

But the divisions in the Democratic Party due to the Bernie Sanders' candidacy in Democrat primaries are coming more and more to the fore — including in the capitalist press.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner came under fire on April 1 in a day of action by teachers and others who took to the streets to protest their austerity policies.

Revealing the bipartisan support for austerity un US politics, Emanuel is a Democrat who was Barack Obama’s White House Chief of Staff during his first term while Rauner is a conservative Republican.

At the recent meeting of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the three remaining Republican presidential candidates and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton vied to outdo each other as the most supportive of Israel and its right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

AIPAC is the powerful lobby in the US for the Israeli government and its policies. It exerts great pressure on all members of Congress.

Amid growing incidents of violence at rallies for Donald Trump and protests confronting the Republican presidential frontrunner, the Republican Party’s establishment has opened a campaign to try to deny Trump the party’s presidential nomination.

In a broadside attack on Trump, the Republican candidate in 2012 Mitt Romney launched a drive under the slogan “anyone but Trump.” He said a Trump presidency would be a disaster for “America” — strongly implying that voters should not support Trump in the general election if he wins the nomination.

Republican fears

Albert Woodfox was finally released on February 19 — his 69th birthday — from the notorious Angola state prison in Louisiana. He was jailed for 45 years, 43 of which were spent in solitary confinement in a two-by-three metre cell.

Solitary confinement is becoming widely recognised as a form of torture. Woodfox's ordeal was the longest time any prisoner in the US has been held in solitary.


Support for self-described socialist Bernie Sanders is based on his policies, such as supporting union campaigns for a $15 minimum wage.

It can be difficult to understand what capitalist elections say about the relation of class forces. This is especially true for the United States where there are no mass workers parties of any type. The two pro-capitalist parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, dominate.

One of the most worst cases of environmental pollution in US history is taking place in Flint, Michigan — a suburb of Detroit that is majority African American.

The citizens of this small city of 100,000 have been deliberately poisoned through their drinking water for more than a year. The worst exposure has been to lead, a known neurotoxin that, once in the body, cannot be removed.

Lead harms everyone exposed to it, but it hits children especially hard. It causes permanent damage to the brain and other parts of the nervous system.

Protests against police killings in Chicago, November 25.

Across the country, police murders of Black people continue apace — as do prosecutors' failure to charge the killers, getting hung juries at best.


Armed thugs, some with signs supporting Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, intimidate worshipers at a mosque in Irving, Texas. November 21.

In her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine, Canadian author Naomi Klein discusses how capitalist governments and corporations exploit disasters to further their interests against the rest of us.

California has what is called a Mediterranean climate, which means it has two seasons, wet and dry one. The wet one usually starts in November and lasts through the winter and early spring and is characterised by rain, and snow in the northern part of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the dry season, from mid-spring through October, there is little or no rain.

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